Position: Left-handed Pitcher
Ryan was a 12th round pick of the Tigers in 2010 from just up the road in Auburndale Florida. The lanky left-hander signed quickly for a reported bonus of $100,000.
The Tigers kept Ryan close to home for his first professional experience, assigning him to the rookie-level Gulf Coast League right out of the gate. He tied for the league lead in games started (12) and finished the summer with 4.17 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 54 innings of work.
After an intense off-season of work in Lakeland the Tigers pushed Ryan to Low-A West Michigan for his full-season debut in 2011.
He started 24 games for the ‘Caps and though he finished with a 6-10 record, he did post a 3.15 ERA. He allowed 145 hits in 137 innings with 30 strikeouts and 99 strikeouts as a teenager in the Midwest League.
There's a lot to like when you first see Ryan. With a 6-foot-5 frame and added strength he offers a loose projectable body with a good arm action.
His fastball will show 91-92 mph at times, particularly early in 2011 when he was fresh, but he sits more at 88-90 mph throughout his starts. Some scouts see added velocity as he continues to mature physically with one scout speculating that he could top out at 94 mph two to three years from now.
Despite being a warm weather kid with plenty of game experience for his age, Ryan is still learning the art of pitching. He is still learning proper pitch sequencing and he is gaining feel for manipulating the ball with sink and/or cut.
Ryan can spin a solid 1-7 curveball that flashes above-average potential and could be a quality second offering that he can rely on in any count.
His change-up is still a work in progress but he started to show better feel for it late in 2011. He still slows his arm at times and doesn't always trust his grip to lower the velocity. There's a chance he gains enough consistency for his change-up to be average down the line.
Ryan is a sponge that soaks up instruction and works diligently to improve all areas of his game. If he realizes gains in his command and solidifies his breaking ball he has a chance to be a number three starter or more likely a number four.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP WHIP A
Ryan's hard work in the off-season paid off in his first full year as he didn't show any significant signs of tiring down the stretch. He's had an aggressive workload early in his career and should be monitored closely as they take off the reigns in 2012 and 2013.
Despite being just 20-years old in 2012, Ryan's success in West Michigan lines him up for a spot in the Lakeland rotation. He won't be the first young pitcher the Tigers have sent there and his mild ground ball tendencies and the offensive environment in the Florida State League should help him hold his own this year.
Ryan isn't the Tigers classic fast moving prospect but he could accelerate his time table with a strong season in 2012. His most likely track has him spending 2013 in Erie and a possible show in Detroit in 2014.
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